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The Overlooked Concept That Is Costing Companies Millions

Jason Bramble

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The Overlooked Concept That Is Costing Companies Millions

What is this concept that is costing companies millions? Yet, isn’t being prioritized by the majority of companies?

This concept is Alignment.

This concept has become a huge issue with so many companies for a number of reasons, but the biggest being the constantly evolving buyer’s journey.

More specially, the alignment between the Sales and Marketing departments. Having worked with many clients across a variety of different industries with my Marketing Agency, I can tell you that this strategy is essentially non-existent in many of them.

According to Hubspot, 1 in 4 companies reported that their Sales and Marketing teams are misaligned or rarely aligned. It is also reported that, on average, companies lose 10% of annual revenue due to misalignment between Sales and Marketing. ( Hubspot.com)

So why aren’t companies making this a priority? From my experience, it is either one of three things:

  • They don’t fully understand the impact of misalignment
  • They have no idea where to even begin to start the process
  • They don’t want to allocate a budget toward software’s or an individual/department to tackle this issue.

If you fall into any of those three bullets listed above, I’m going to explain not only the importance of this concept but things you can implement immediately.

Not understanding the impact of misalignment

If losing 10% of your annual revenue, as I previously stated, isn’t a big enough red flag to make you understand the importance of Sales and Marketing not being aligned then take a look at these statistics…

Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve a 20% annual growth rate. (Aberdeen.com)

Aligning Sales and Marketing also leads to 38% higher sales win rates. (marketingprofs.com)

Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve a 20% annual growth rate. (Aberdeen.com)

I think these numbers speak for themselves and they don’t even begin to touch on how misalignment impacts your employees on an individual basis.

The numbers say that 65 % of sales reps do not know where to access the content their Marketing team has created which not only causes time spent away from selling prospects but misinformed Sales reps leads to hesitant prospects.

 

Not knowing where to start/ Not wanting to allocate a budget

I believe these two issues go hand and hand because many companies are misinformed on what to do so they would rather not allocate a budget toward the issues.

They’re countless actions you can take to start this process, but I will break it down very simply into aspects you can implement immediately with no budget needed.

Of course, yes, these take time away from your employees day which in turn, may result in a loss of revenue for that day, but in the long run, the ROI will speak for itself.

 

Cross-departmental training

First, and most importantly, you need to schedule cross-departmental trainings. Lets call it as it is, the Sales and Marketing departments, in many companies, do not see eye to eye.

Why is this?

I would be very confident in saying that the majority, if not all, of those “feuds”, stems from a lack of knowledge about the other department. Start by immersing each department into the day to day of each other.

For example, have your Marketing team listen to sales calls from leads that they generated.

Have your Sales team sit in on a Marketing meeting discussing campaign/content strategies.

It is physically impossible for the two to work parallel with each other if your Marketing department doesn’t understand your companies sale or the sales pipeline and likewise for sales. Sales need to understand Marketing’s funnel and daily operations.

The end goal should be to get each department thinking like one another. This not only leads to better leads and happier Sales callers, but it also relieves some of the tension and allows them to be more understanding of each other.

 

Ask For Input

The next cost-effective action that you can take is simply asking for input. Here is the honest truth that you just need to accept in this process, Sales Reps will never fully agree on everything Marketing does.

They will always think they can word an email better or that the content Marketing created could have got them the sale if it had this instead of that. Accept it because that will never change. Though, by asking Sales Reps for their input, it will begin to bridge that gap in more ways than one.

For starters, it gives the Sales Rep a voice. It lets them feel as if their ideas and concerns are being heard. The other thing that it does is allows your Marketing team to hear first hand what the Sales callers opinion on what they think would work best. This is always good considering the Sales rep is the one in the trenches making the dials.

One benefit for the Marketing department is it lets team members, like copywriters, who usually have little to no sales experience, get a better sense of how to communicate their messaging to match how the Sales reps think. I have found this actually leads to a more humanized approached.

Along with this, it gives your Marketing team a better understanding of the challenges your Sales Reps face on a daily basis whether that is common objections, lack of understanding on how to use the content provided and how they work their leads through their pipelines.

 

Clearly Define MQL VS. SQL

Every Sales Manager has heard these phrases probably more than they would like,

“These leads are terrible”

“If only the leads were better…”

Sorry to tell you, but that will never fully stop, but you can certainly decrease the number of times you hear that by clearly defining the difference between a SQL and an MQL.

This can be an arduous task sometimes, but a few simple steps can help your company get on the right path. Before anything is implemented or rolled out to either department, Sales and Marketing leaders need to mutually agree on what they think falls into the two categories. Once this is agreed upon, executing on things like proper lead scoring, buyers personas, transparency for Sales on prospects engagement, and strategically stacking your sales and marketing data in conjunction with your existing campaigns is crucial.

 

Educate Your Reps

 What is the biggest reason that 90% of the content created by Marketing teams go unused by sales reps?

It falls into two buckets and those are.

They don’t know how or when to use the content or they don’t think it can help them convince a prospect to become a client.

You can quickly eliminate both of these by conducting training on how and when to use specific pieces of content at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

However, that won’t be enough.

Salespeople ultimately care about one thing, money. Knowing this, you need to use this to your advantage during training on these topics. Here’s an example:

Incorrect:

“Sending a piece of content after you talk to someone for the first time is a good idea and will help you close more deals”

Correct:

“We analyzed the data and noticed that sending x (a specific piece of content) after the first conversation to a SQL from x campaign results in a 25% higher win rate.”

See the difference? When Sales callers can visually see the numbers and then put a dollar amount behind it relative to their pipeline, it clicks.

I cannot stress how important it is to know your data and use it to your advantage. Again, Sales callers understand money and if you can show proven data (after testing, of course) that doing the action you want them to or sending that specific email or piece of content will result in more money for them, they will do it.

 

Create Transparency

This can be done in a number of ways, but the suggestion I would make is building a team around the idea of alignment.

If you have not already begun putting the pieces together for an Enablement team I would start now!

The numbers speak for themselves, 43% of the top-performing companies today employ a minimum of 7 full-time sales enablement professionals under their brand umbrella.

This does not just help the company as a whole, but statistics have shown it greatly improves Sales caller performance, as well.  In fact, 84% of sales reps can achieve their quotas when their employer engages with the best-in-class sales enablement strategies that are currently available to them. (Aberdeen).

This team should be there to bridge the gap between Sales and Marketing by streamlining internal communication, working for hand and hand with both departments to increase sales and marketing engagement and automation, conduct training on best practices, handle marketing campaigns/content rollouts, deploy new sales methodology, and most importantly, to establish themselves as a trusted partner of both departments to be there to mediate any discrepancies.

They should also be responsible for improving and playing a major role in the on-boarding process of a new Sales rep. This allows them to create trust and transparency upfront from the very beginning while also instilling the best practices and marketing information that the rep will need to succeed.

 

About the Author:

Feel free to check out a little bit more about my story in the following articles:

How Jason Bramble Went From Doubted Kid to 6 Figure Business Owner 

Thrive Global-The Success Anatomy: Learn How Innovative Entrepreneur Jason Bramble Lives on His Own Terms

 

Contact Me

If you have any specific questions on how to implement anything mentioned in this article, more in-depth strategies/suggestions or just questions on Sales and Marketing in general for your company, you can contact me at the form below or here on Linkedin or Instagram

 

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